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I never thought I'd be writing this after owning and renting for 10 years. I got a rental inquiry from a Jeff Hammond of Wasilla, AK. It had typical poor English grammer and fit the scam profile I've been reading about. I thought I'd play along and sent him a rental contract. I got the following e-mail today. The address he gave me is that of a Todel Palin in Wasilla. The phone number is from Dallas. I think you see the big picture. Be careful who you deal with. If they don't answer the phone and speak with you it's a red flag.
How are you doing ? I just recieved a confirmation that the check payment for the rent has been issued on your name and mailed out to your address, So keep an eye for it.There was a mixed up before the check was mailed out. I would like you to help me out with the rental fee and my travel expense allowance was included in the check that was sent to you. take out the rental fee and send the remaining balance less western union charges to my car rental company to enable them secure my car rental booking ready for our use when we get to the unit . Finally, let me know when you get the check, I am very sorry for the inconvenience caused for you sending the money down to the Car Rental Company. Do you know any western union outlet close to you or money gram ?
Best Regards Jeff Hammond Jeff Hammond
Had almost identical request.....just different renter name/address, but "keep an eye for it", etc and request to send refund minus my rental amount. BUT, they sent a check and now i'm sitting here with probably a worthless check. Should I send it back to the company who issued it (probably bogus) or what now? Don't want to take a chance on depositing and exposing my bank account to them. Just want out.....think I will just send a cancellation notice and indicate property is not available. Any other thoughts?
I live in Plymouth Minnesota and a friend of mine has a son on the police
dept.. He had a detective call me this morning and he said just to hang on
to the check and have no further communication with them. The check is no
good so don't cash it. I was reading a woman's blog who said she cashed the
check and wired the excess funds. She is out thousand's of dollars plus the
bank charges for a bounced check. I will not rent to anybody I can't talk
to first. The crooks don't want to talk, just take your money. So my advice
is to sit tight and it will more than likely just die. Don
I'm glad that you weren't harmed by this scam.
For the record....
Be very aware: some crooks do a good job of scamming over the telephone pretending to be the property owner. They carry their scam very far...sometimes speaking several times with their victim in particular with phishing scenarios. Use "Search For Answers:" above for "phishing".
This scam is so "old" for some owners, by now. *Delete*!
But, there are so many new owners and owners that are just unaware. They haven't yet seen the, "I...paid too much" email in their inbox. And, they are not aware of this Community Forum where they can get details.
I'm with Anja. I'd love to see VRBO/HA offer tutorials to NEW owners entering the VR business regarding scams such as this. ( maybe they do). There should be a BIG flag that directs new VR owners to read basic info- like in the old VRBO days, before they advertise.
These are old type scams (this 1 is almost too funny). I'd never have given my contract or mailing address to such an obvious scammer, but I think I get the reason why ddjanderson did...
I used VRBO's information ( back then we had Karpisnki's info) before I ever put a contract together, etc. After educating myself as well as I could, only THEN did I buy advertsing on any site. I think it took me about 4 months before I ever felt comfortable enough to have my ducks in a row and do my 1st rental.
I always shudder when I see owners new to the process post questions in the Community about problems that come from no contract, or a standard down loaded one.
Love this Community to help address issues. I just wish there was a way to get to the New folks before they make big mistakes.
Yes...a prominent button e.g.: Don't Be Scammed! on the index pages of every HA-owned website would be helpful clicking into ---> a tutorial, as you suggested...and it would be nice for it to be set up as video tutorial to watch what "to watch out for"...with a sample of the typical "....paid too much / Ukraine scenario" .
Links to the relevant HA advisory "blogs", to be included.